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British Columbia to Provide Hospitals $25 Million to Increase Number of Surgeries Performed Yearly

The B.C. government says it will provide $25 million to increase the number of surgeries performed each year and reduce a growing backlog.

The money will be used to expand operating room hours and speed up access for patients who have been waiting more than 40 weeks for surgery.

Health Minister Terry Lake made the announcement on Thursday in Vancouver. Lake also said the government will provide four additional magnetic resonance imaging machines to health centres across B.C.

"Despite significantly increasing the number of surgeries and MRIs being done each year, we are struggling to keep pace with the growing demand," Lake said. 

"This extra funding will provide health authorities with additional support as they complete their plans for these procedures in the upcoming year, and while we work together to implement strategies that improve access over the longer-term."


  • Waiting times for surgeries and other hospital procedures are obscene in Canada.  My father injured his knee and had to wait 9 months for an MRI.  I was supposed to get an MRI on my own knee and had to wait 7 months, only to be unable to go due to a terrible blizzard on the day of my appointment.  Next available time was a further 3 months, at which point I had left the country.

    "You get what you pay for" certainly applies to some areas of the health industry in Canada.

    My father just told me the other day that he wanted to visit a skin specialist again about a large mole on his forehead.  The specialist said it was ok a few years ago, but it seems to be getting bigger.  The specialist told him to get a referral again from a general practitioner, which will probably involve weeks of waiting for an appointment.

    Here in Japan if I need to see a skin doctor (like I did a few months ago about some psoriasis flaring up on my elbows) I just walk into a random specialist's office, give them my ID, and wait 20 minutes to be seen.

    It's true that everyone here has to pay around $150/mo for the mandatory national health insurance (covers 70% of costs, with the remaining 30% usually covered by employers), but I wonder if that's really enough to allow Japanese hospitals to afford sufficient machines and staff to allow for the same-day appointments and even same-day MRIs that you can get here.  Canada has higher taxes which I assume pay for the "free" health care, yet medical service sucks in Canada.

    Japan has 4x the population of Canada and half the people are so old they probably visit doctors as often as they do their own family members, yet health care is somehow leaps and bounds above Canada's.

    What gives?  There must be a reasonable answer, although I wouldn't be surprised if two parts of that answer are "corruption" and "incompetence," whatever the remaining parts might be.
  • Matt_ADMIN_Matt_ADMIN_ Administrator
    edited February 2017
    I've honestly never experienced any waiting times longer than a month for anything I've needed sooner rather than later, including MRIs interestingly. All my GP appointments have been next day, or even same day when needed. Sadly, all that is offset by the fact I don't think I've ever had an appointment with a doctor that has truly resolved a problem.

    I imagine this situation arises because Canada doesn't have as many MRI machines as it needs. It also has less doctors per capita than Japan does, although strangely, despite your excellent experiences, Japan is supposedly ranking lower and lower for medical care. I honestly have no idea what's going on. Maybe you and I are just part of the ruling elite?

    I *do* however feel that ER waiting times in Canada are outrageous. Waiting six hours to be seen while nurses sit about laughing to themselves is a bit aggravating sometimes!
    "...Say, 'GOD is sufficient for me.' In Him the trusters shall trust." (Quran 39:38)
  • Ah, I see you haven't figured out the Emergency Room Trick yet.  The key is to stab yourself in the neck when you reach hour #2.  The nurses will see to you then!  Maybe!

    I suppose my own experiences going to the doctor in Canada aren't much of a representation, because aside from checkups and a few examinations/treatments of injuries I never really went to the doctor back home.  My parents certainly go often and express constant displeasure over waits, vague answers and questionable follow-up visits, however.

    My experiences in Japan are also not much of a representation because all I've done here, doctor-wise, is had my arm stapled back together after the window incident and visited a skin doctor twice.  Nothing serious by any means, so perhaps that's why I was seen so quickly.

  • Matt_ADMIN_Matt_ADMIN_ Administrator
    Seems like your life isn't eventful enough. *you appear inside of an octagon*
    "...Say, 'GOD is sufficient for me.' In Him the trusters shall trust." (Quran 39:38)
  • Good thing I took that handful of boxing less- *my teeth ping off your window*
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